The key to simple and effective product sampling
Getting more of the right people talking about your brand is easier than ever. Still, the marketer’s to-do list can be overwhelming. Pair that with the “should-do” list, and it quickly becomes unmanageable. Product sampling shouldn’t be one of those activities that weighs down your team.
Typical approaches to product sampling
Product sampling isn’t a new strategy for most brands — it’s the act of giving away your products to a select audience in hopes they will write informed reviews, share UGC, tell their friends and become repeat customers.
Most brands approach this one of two ways:
Strategy 1: DIY
You’re sitting around your office when the email lands in your inbox, “We need to up our product ranking on XYZ retailer, can you gather 50 new reviews on the product ASAP?” While the ask seems simple, it kicks off an overwhelming amount of tasks the marketer must manage on top of their regular job:
Vet and collect all the contact and sizing information for would-be product testers.
Package and ship the product along with any special or unique instructions.
Track delivery and receipt of the product.
Remind recipients to share their feedback and when/where to post.
Track who has fulfilled their requests and collect their UGC.
Package and share their UGC where it’s needed most.
PROS: Low cost. Opportunity to recruit and cultivate personal relationships with product testers.
CONS: Time-consuming to manage and difficult to source testers who meet your desired criteria, especially when looking for a larger audience.
The DIY strategy works, but many brands find it doesn’t scale well.
For brands who have the time to manage campaigns on their own, the ExpertVoice Campaign Manager offers brands the agency of a DIY sampling campaign with the guided support of a coach — so brands can easily source participants, automate campaign messaging and collect UGC at scale.
Strategy 2: Hire it out
Countless options exist to support a brand’s sampling program from companies who will ship your product alongside other brands in a sampling box or create a bespoke program with a highly customized unboxing experience.
PROS: Set it and forget it — sit back and wait for results to be delivered.
CONS: Lack of insight into who is reviewing your products. Limited ability to re-engage participants in future campaigns. Many of these campaigns also come with significant price tags that may make repeating at any regular cadence challenging.
How ExpertVoice can help
ExpertVoice managed services for product sampling address many challenges that exist with sampling programs today:
- Confidence that the right people will be part of your campaign. Select qualified applicants from a curated audience of credentialed industry experts — you set the criteria, and we’ll source the people. Get valuable insights into where participants work, their years of experience, familiarity with your brand, where they live and visibility into what other brands they love and support.
- A quick and effective way to collect trusted reviews. Campaign results are collected inside the Advocacy Platform, which offers review syndication through Bazaarvoice, PowerReviews or Yotpo and the ability to curate the most impactful ones to showcase in the ExpertVoice review display. All reviews are FTC-compliant, noted with an incentivized badge to build consumer trust.
- Access to 1st party data and invaluable insights. Your sampling strategist will assemble audience details so you can tap into them for future campaigns or follow up individually for more information. In addition, a custom survey can be run to provide deeper insights about the participant experience with your products beyond what appears in reviews and UGC.
Managed services for product sampling allow a brand to send free products to a highly qualified audience, collect and leverage the trusted UGC they submit and tap into this valuable audience for future campaigns. Note: Shipping and fulfillment services are also available.
For years, brands have trusted the ExpertVoice Studios team to produce beautiful, custom lessons and videos to help tell their brand and product stories.
We have these ideas about our brand’s story and what we want to say, and ExpertVoice brings a fresh, new look at our brand, at our supplements and what makes them special and unique and helps us convey that to the experts out there and do it in a way that’s very engaging, that’s informative, that’s appealing — and that bringsthe experts back time and again.”
Now, brands can lean on that same team to execute and launch their next product sampling campaign.
Getting started with managed services on ExpertVoice
Managed services are available to any brand — whether they already manage a program on ExpertVoice or are looking for a point solution to support their next sampling program or brand community. We’ll even share some free resources to get you started — download this discovery brief to define your project scope and check out other brand case studies here.
We look forward to helping you engage more of the right people to help build your brand.
Get support with product sampling.
Community-based sampling activates a group of influential consumers and boosts UGC collection. Note: Access to Product Sampling Campaigns and Communities varies based on your Advocacy Platform subscription. Now more than ever, people crave safe places to learn new things, seek inspiration and build genuine connections. Online groups, hosted on social media platforms or through brand […]Read More
How to collect reviews and photos from authentic everyday influencers. Advocacy MarketingInfluencer MarketingUser Generated Content (UGC) By Product Sampling Campaigns allow you to hand-select samplers to trial free products and share their honest feedback. Note: Access to Product Sampling Campaigns varies based on your Advocacy Platform subscription. Sending out free products to influencers can be […]Read More